Tony Hawkins Hawken

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I knew Tony very well , he was a superb all round gunsmith . The only problem with his cap locks was the nipple , the thread was very small and not found on any other caplock . I got all his remainder stock which has now all gone .
Tony made his own deep hole borer and rifling machine .
He labeled all his rifles with his name , the caliber a serial number a dot then the twist rate .
Chris your 45 is a 1:40 twist . I shoot with a guy who has a .45 with a 1:22 twist , these barrels were made for slug shooting , not round ball , Tony made molds for all his twists . I have both a short bullet length mold for a slow twist and a long mold for a fast twist both .45 .
Euan , yours is a 1:66 .
I don't believe the story about .50 + caliber I do know the Police would not issue an import permit for .50 BMG , so guys made their own rifles .
I saw .58 ml Parker Hale rifles in NZ 53 years ago . I do know Tony made some .58 smooth bore guns which look almost identical to the rifles . I have seen 2 or 3 .36 made by him but I have seen and sold a lot of very accurate .38 barrels . I have a mate who has a perch belly match rifle he made with one of Tony's .38 barrels and it is seriously accurate.
he was a great shot and made his own ML caplock rifle which he took to the World Championships many years ago .
There are some of his rifles and barrels in the USA , Australia and Britain , but not many .
 
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Well since I did developement work for Tony Hawkins ( and even fixed his leaking roof ). I know a bit about his guns. He paid me in barrels & I posted them in qty to the UK. I lived at his house . Geoff Lambe made his aluminium master to make the stocks on his home made duplicarver . His last offering (How many he actually produced I don't know was a half stock pistol gripped affair that gave a shotgun or a target rifles' Full Match ' he offerered 1 in 20' or so 45 cal in oct uniform , or taper 1&1/8 to 7 8th". Or 38 cal 1 in 18' pitch the later lock I worked on & his stamps came from me & the moulds ' to suit'he made' in house ' there wasn't much difference between the oil soaked floor & the house & he never seemed to take his boots off . His Dad came in to finnish & pack the kits or guns complete . He read Dr Franklin Mans' The bullets flight for powder to target ' very dog eared copy anyway he was fond of ballroom danceing and reading in the central library .A self taught engineer was a Clark of some sort but no engineers would take him as apprentice. So he bought tools wrecked a few by the "El Muncho Gruncho School of engineering " but he was a brilliant engineer regardless made the entire him self at the house / shop , He cast steel & brass blueing the lot . His aim he said was the " To get the Jokers shooting "Offering a fine shooting rifle or shotgun basic hardly traditional but accurate rifle at a modest price and he certainly did that. two of his undersized rejected stocks with the pistol grips I salvaged and they are now these 40years later still rifles I use if not his barrels & a .38 1 in 18" 36' taper round percussion served me well at up to 600 yards and was the very devil on Kangeroo's as I kept it on a Cattle Station near Surat QLD . I made several 12 bore shotguns flint with the Nocks breach & I fitted one with one of his 58 cal taper rounds used here on goats & deer . One rifle I made with a 451 taper round useing a Numrich plug & a Cawnpore made lock a half stocked "Poor Mans full match " some dubbed it but the late Gordon Gerard broke the MLAGB record score in the reproduction match on Short Siberia range Bisley . popular rifles in UK . I never knew of any exported maybe to Australia but far as I know no complete ones just barrels to the UK . I once pointed out the qty of oil on his workshop floor . He replied "Nah its OK ,it stops the concrete rusting" .
Regards Rudyard .

Sorry no Maori I speak more Zulu than Maori.
 
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The first time I was at Tony's workshop he asked me in for a cup of tea , There was a small tree growing just inside the back door and the floor was so oil soaked I thought the place was a storage house for all his junk and off cuts ( if you took your shoes off you dirtied your socks something horrid) . Still he was a very good engineer , When I knew him he did more centrefire barrels than ML . I have met Australians and English shooters with his barrels and sold a few of his rifles to American visitors more as something different than shooters . I have a copy of Franklin Mann's book , it is a good read .
 
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I knew Tony very well , he was a superb all round gunsmith . The only problem with his cap locks was the nipple , the thread was very small and not found on any other caplock . I got all his remainder stock which has now all gone .
Tony made his own deep hole borer and rifling machine .
He labeled all his rifles with his name , the caliber a serial number a dot then the twist rate .
Chris your 45 is a 1:40 twist . I shoot with a guy who has a .45 with a 1:22 twist , these barrels were made for slug shooting , not round ball , Tony made molds for all his twists . I have both a short bullet length mold for a slow twist and a long mold for a fast twist both .45 .
Euan , yours is a 1:66 .
I don't believe the story about .50 + caliber I do know the Police would not issue an import permit for .50 BMG , so guys made their own rifles .
I saw .58 ml Parker Hale rifles in NZ 53 years ago . I do know Tony made some .58 smooth bore guns which look almost identical to the rifles . I have seen 2 or 3 .36 made by him but I have seen and sold a lot of very accurate .38 barrels . I have a mate who has a perch belly match rifle he made with one of Tony's .38 barrels and it is seriously accurate.
he was a great shot and made his own ML caplock rifle which he took to the World Championships many years ago .
There are some of his rifles and barrels in the USA , Australia and Britain , but not many .
Kia Ora Duncan,
That's really fantastic. What a great deal of amazing information on Tony & his Guns.
I met him twice when my father took me along when he bought 2 rifiles , way back now I would have been 7 or so.
Apologies for misleading information. My dad told me that story... guess I should remember that I am on a world wide web.
I've probably got even what Dad said wrong. Its awhile since I was 7 .
He really had passion for his work that's for real. Pretty neat his guns are all over & still getting reults👍
 
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Well since I did developement work for Tony Hawkins ( and even fixed his leaking roof ). I know a bit about his guns. He paid me in barrels & I posted them in qty to the UK. I lived at his house . Geoff Lambe made his aluminium master to make the stocks on his home made duplicarver . His last offering (How many he actually produced I don't know was a half stock pistol gripped affair that gave a shotgun or a target rifles' Full Match ' he offerered 1 in 20' or so 45 cal in oct uniform , or taper 1&1/8 to 7 8th". Or 38 cal 1 in 18' pitch the later lock I worked on & his stamps came from me & the moulds ' to suit'he made' in house ' there wasn't much difference between the oil soaked floor & the house & he never seemed to take his boots off . His Dad came in to finnish & pack the kits or guns complete . He read Dr Franklin Mans' The bullets flight for powder to target ' very dog eared copy anyway he was fond of ballroom danceing and reading in the central library .A self taught engineer was a Clark of some sort but no engineers would take him as apprentice. So he bought tools wrecked a few by the "El Muncho Gruncho School of engineering " but he was a brilliant engineer regardless made the entire him self at the house / shop , He cast steel & brass blueing the lot . His aim he said was the " To get the Jokers shooting "Offering a fine shooting rifle or shotgun basic hardly traditional but accurate rifle at a modest price and he certainly did that. two of his undersized rejected stocks with the pistol grips I salvaged and they are now these 40years later still rifles I use if not his barrels & a .38 1 in 18" 36' taper round percussion served me well at up to 600 yards and was the very devil on Kangeroo's as I kept it on a Cattle Station near Surat QLD . I made several 12 bore shotguns flint with the Nocks breach & I fitted one with one of his 58 cal taper rounds used here on goats & deer . One rifle I made with a 451 taper round useing a Numrich plug & a Cawnpore made lock a half stocked "Poor Mans full match " some dubbed it but the late Gordon Gerard broke the MLAGB record score in the reproduction match on Short Siberia range Bisley . popular rifles in UK . I never knew of any exported maybe to Australia but far as I know no complete ones just barrels to the UK . I once pointed out the qty of oil on his workshop floor . He replied "Nah its OK ,it stops the concrete rusting" .
Regards Rudyard .

Sorry no Maori I speak more Zulu than Maori.
Kia Ora Rudyard,
Thanks for your post. Yes I remember his house was a work shop indeed.
That's so awsome that you & Duncan have put so much information on Tony on here. Hes a black powder hero I reckon.
That book sounds like a great read.
Nga mihi
 

Dreadnought

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I brought a .45 cal with a 1:40 twist in the sports shop in Reefton a year or so back, came with a Hawkins arms bullet mould.Its great fun to shoot ,accurate and blows great smoke rings.
Great to get all this info about the man and his guns.
I hope to hunt with it when i have shot it a bit more.
 
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Morena Dreadnaught.
That's fantastic thanks for your reply.
You have got yourself a Kiwi Icon there.
They are big rifles arnt they? But surprisingly balanced when in hand.
& kai te pai to have the mould as well👍
We are not that far from each other . I work at Tuamarina & live in the outer sounds.
Good luck with your hunt.
Rest assured it's a quick dispatch rifile. If you get a chance. Maybe you can put a photograph up?
I for 1 wud like to see it.
Have a great day.
Nga mihi
Chris
PS. What's your numbering on barrel . Be intrested to know.
All the best matua.👍
 

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Morena Dreadnaught.
That's fantastic thanks for your reply.
You have got yourself a Kiwi Icon there.
They are big rifles arnt they? But surprisingly balanced when in hand.
& kai te pai to have the mould as well👍
We are not that far from each other . I work at Tuamarina & live in the outer sounds.
Good luck with your hunt.
Rest assured it's a quick dispatch rifile. If you get a chance. Maybe you can put a photograph up?
I for 1 wud like to see it.
Have a great day.
Nga mihi
Chris
PS. What's your numbering on barrel . Be intrested to know.
All the best matua.👍
Really interested to see a picture of your mold .
That's fantastic you got the dead right bullet for your awsome rifle.
Pretty rapped for you . You enjoy that beauty 👍
Ma te wa
Chris
 
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I brought a .45 cal with a 1:40 twist in the sports shop in Reefton a year or so back, came with a Hawkins arms bullet mould.Its great fun to shoot ,accurate and blows great smoke rings.
Great to get all this info about the man and his guns.
I hope to hunt with it when i have shot it a bit more.
Welcome to the forum , A' Coaster' .You must know' Herk' at the miners shack in Reefton Then theirs Kopara not too far to go its an old Logging village but is now very ML shooters friendly . & has shoots . As a rifle its plumb ugly but his thinking was good quality down to an affordable price to "Get the jokers shooting" as he put it and it is effectively a Kiwi Icone a sort of shooters ' Buzzy Bee' .The one in 40" was for ball or conical & he offered 1 in 20" for the longer bullet & range ability .and there was a 58 option And a 1 in 18" pitch 38 cal option but he would do most any sort of barrel you wanted in 1' oct or taper round. I made a 38 up in that target style ( less brutal that the 451 and good out to or beyond 600 yards ) He made shotgun barrels .I used a lot for flint guns they interchanged in profile with his taper round rifled brls . I might get to the Next Kopara shoot & perhaps see you there .( I shant attempt any Maori . I speak more Zulu ).
Regards Rudyard
 

Dreadnought

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Hi Chris,Cheers for the reply,the number of the Hawkin is 345.40 it has a 26" barrel
I took some photos but need somebody with a bit more know how with computers to load them onto the forum but will get it done soon.
I agree they are special rifles being made in NZ and are great to shoot.
Also thanks Rudyard for the info,i have met Herk but don't know him well.
Do either of you have any info on what loads were recommended?
At the moment i am using 60 g of 3fg mainly because there was an empty 303 shell in the bag that came with it and thats how much powder it holds,seems accurate with that.
I haven't cast any bullets with the Hawkins mould yet only some that came with it.
I will post some photos soon.
 
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Hi Chris,Cheers for the reply,the number of the Hawkin is 345.40 it has a 26" barrel
I took some photos but need somebody with a bit more know how with computers to load them onto the forum but will get it done soon.
I agree they are special rifles being made in NZ and are great to shoot.
Also thanks Rudyard for the info,i have met Herk but don't know him well.
Do either of you have any info on what loads were recommended?
At the moment i am using 60 g of 3fg mainly because there was an empty 303 shell in the bag that came with it and thats how much powder it holds,seems accurate with that.
I haven't cast any bullets with the Hawkins mould yet only some that came with it.
I will post some photos soon.
Re loads it has been loaded with more but ide say if its accurate with that go with it. His moulds suit Lyman handles the lube is up to you tallow & beeswax or any sort of firm lard. You could use a thin card wad over powder but I don't think it's critical The heavier mould for the 1 in 20 pitch rifles might go with powder a card & a lube felt wad . typically. But your 1 in 40 should just deliver . I don't know re numbers but' Dunk NZ 'might well know I just bought blanks with no numbers or makers name . But one I made in Full match style held & may yet hold the MLAGB record in that Replica free rifle class with a 98 at a Bisley MLAGB Short range meeting on Short Siberia ,The Late Gordon Gerrard is who's skill did that. I just made the rifle with one of Tonys 1 in 20'' barrels taper round 33 " brl . I do have more details of the Match but I sold a lot of his barrels in that configuration in UK I think He bought it SH it was dubbed 'A poor mans full match " ,Cawnpore' local trade ', lock, Numrich plug ,brass Enfield style mounts probabley has 303 Long Lee sights but he might have added a vernier. rear. certainly 'no frills ' in the Hawkins tradition .
Regards Rudyard
 
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Hi Dreadnought , I'm from Blenheim , I have two of Tony's .45 molds , a short ( light) bullet for the slow twist and a long ( heavy) bullet for the fast twist . Unfortunately they are not for sale . Tony's percussion nipples were made by him and are almost impossible to find these days , fortunately they are as hard and tough as a Billy Goats Knees so they last well .
Cheers Dunc
 

Dreadnought

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Hi Dunc,the mould i have casts a bullet 13/16" long so sounds like the right one for the 1:40 twist.I also have some other bullets that came with the rifle that measure 1" 1/8 long maybe they were cast from one of Tonys moulds.I am yet to shoot any of these so cant say how they perform.I hope to catch up with the lady that owned the gun and find out some more info but i believe she brought it new.I will post some photos when i get a chance.
Thanks for the feedback.
 
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I might be wrong but I thought the nipples where the only part he didn't make' in house ' The longer bullet might work. I made a Tony's 45 cal 7/8" th" barrel reject wedded to an Indian made flintlock that was also rejected with a pistol gripped reject stock & thus was born . Then subsequently known as the" New Zealand Poor boy' dubbed so in the US where I kept it over many years, because it lacked a tail pipe ,rib , just a single pin & used up an old guard plus just Tony's tang plug . About 1977 I walked from Little Wanganui to Flora Saddle spotted a Donk on the Leslie & let it have the unsuited bullet .as it was all I had . I distinctly remember a leg up in the air through the smoke .Cut up all the the meat I could carry but hung up the rest up by the track. To find a Possomer' s flown in Bivvy at the confluence with Arther creek & left him a note .Still got it but made a 50 & a 54 cal options and added a wooden tool box. 'Thrift is my middle name,' .Well no it's Arthur but minor detail eh. Who the Possomer was no idea but I expect he remembers the free venison note if he's still alive.
Cheers Rudyard
 
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"About 1977 I walked from Little Wanganui to Flora Saddle spotted a Donk on the Leslie & let it have the unsuited bullet .as it was all I had . I distinctly remember a leg up in the air through the smoke .Cut up all the the meat I could carry but hung up the rest up by the track. To find a Possomer' s flown in Bivvy at the confluence with Arther creek & left him a note "

Tried to do a google translate on this but all that came back was "WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot?"


I love hearing about this old time gunsmith. Sounds to me like a National Treasure!
 
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"About 1977 I walked from Little Wanganui to Flora Saddle spotted a Donk on the Leslie & let it have the unsuited bullet .as it was all I had . I distinctly remember a leg up in the air through the smoke .Cut up all the the meat I could carry but hung up the rest up by the track. To find a Possomer' s flown in Bivvy at the confluence with Arther creek & left him a note "

Tried to do a google translate on this but all that came back was "WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot?"
Dear Confused chorizo. What would Google know about the local rivers & mountians of N W Nelson , Possomer's flown in Bivvys or the slang name for a Red Deer ?. very little I expect but the poster quite likley would . The Little Wanganui river is a West coast river thiers a track by Bell town, Stag flat, Trevor Carter then Luna hut on down the Karamea River to the Bend hut then up the Leslie river to the Lesley Clearing hut then a track over to the Salisbury Table lands Via Spudgeons Rock bivvy then nice walk onto Gridiron & Flora hut to descend the Grahame down to the Motueka river. That might confuse google but I doubt it confuses the Poster .I now live by the Motueka .Which empties in the Pacific ocean. Nice walk takes 4 to 6 days depending how fit you are .& weather. There are Googe 'up able' maps that show great detail if not all the huts are shown . Sorry to confuse you but it was meant for the original poster .
Regards Rudyard
 
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Please don't take any of what I said as an insult, it was genial kidding and kind joking. I have been a guest in both New Zealand and Australia and it was a wonderful experience.

I knew what you were saying...well, sort of! Carry on.
 
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Please don't take any of what I said as an insult, it was genial kidding and kind joking. I have been a guest in both New Zealand and Australia and it was a wonderful experience.

I knew what you were saying...well, sort of! Carry on.
Oh non taken . I studied 'Merican' at the L&R lock school of elocution 'Wayell',Cayandy' & "You downe no sheet".This was the old L&R & all in jest . Regards Rudyard
 

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Hi Rudyard,great yarn, i walked through there in the early 80's with a mate i had been working with in the forest service awesome country.There was an old guy living in a hut on the Leslie river flats,he had been our weather man each evening on the mountain radio service.I remember seeing lots of trout, took us about 4 or 5 days and came out on the top of Mt Arthur.
Love to be that fit again!
 
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Hi Rudyard,great yarn, i walked through there in the early 80's with a mate i had been working with in the forest service awesome country.There was an old guy living in a hut on the Leslie river flats,he had been our weather man each evening on the mountain radio service.I remember seeing lots of trout, took us about 4 or 5 days and came out on the top of Mt Arthur.
Love to be that fit again!
What was made a flash hut with etched glass burnt down . I knew it before & it was called the 'Scout hut ' the old man might have been Snow . I never met him but he lived in there . Me too re fittness I've walked me legs off at 78 hills got steeper . Could be this global warming ? .The old Luna Hut got flown into a farm near Tapawera any one can visit it but its on no track but just as it was when I first saw it that trip . There was culler had his wife lived in Luna got stroppy if others wanted to use it but got asd out I believe. I.ve gone 13 days at a time up the Aurere, Spey, Domett ,& Ugly up to Roaring lion & out via Spugeons got a nice eel a 26" trout and barrelled a donk in the Ugly (Which isnt) . Little 5 pound 50 cal flint rifle of my make . finnished the trip going up Arther creek in absolutlty sileing rain & popped a goat . it useually boils down to rice & goat meat . Knew it was 26" as thats the barrel length .
Regards Rudyard
 
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